Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tea and toast

As the countdown for lift off ticks away steadily like a metronome, my fridge becomes more and more empty. I'm almost out of milk, so I won't be drinking coffee at home. I have perhaps two servings of leftovers that I can depend on a hot sauce or two to perk up, otherwise those meals will be on the spare side in terms of colours, flavours and textures. I soon will have no need for the fridge light as there will be little to see or look for! It's possible that by the time Saturday rolls around I'll have no choice but to close the fridge door on condiment bottles and a bag of cooking onions and go out for dinner!

I had a friend who studied nutrition, and she told me about the "tea and toast" phenomenon, which is basically a sad summary of the eating habits of older people living alone without much money. They don't want to shop for themselves (or haven't the full wallets to do so) so they subsist on tea and toast. A sugary cuppa and slices of hot, buttery toast can feel like a hearty snack, particularly on a cold or rainy day, and it can certainly bolster the spirits, so I can see how that combo could become habitual. Not for a few decades yet, though. (Mental note: a jar of peanut butter would be a nice addition although I would have to find a secret storage place to hide it from D!)

I've run twice this week and plan to run again tomorrow. I felt the presence of my calves this morning as I tramped down a flight of stairs. Nice to know the're there.

I'm still adding 20 squats and 10 burpees on the end of shorter runs (the 5 - 10k distances, nothing over 20k), and I'm up to 4 full pushups with the burpees. Did you get that? Four! I hope to continue this routine while away - bodyweight exercises are freakishly portable. I can't WAIT to get to 10. Patience, young grasshopper!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trust the bush

Curious kitty with basil and morning burrito

Today's run
What I expected:  windy 20k in cool temps.
What really happened:  22k loop in warm sunshine with a chaser of refreshing breezes.
It's all about perspective.

Wedding cake

I went to a wedding yesterday with some friends, and after the ceremony we ate *a lot* of cheese from the table of appetizers. They had all the stinky blue cheeses I could ever want, and I sampled each type several times just to be sure it was still good, lol. A pretty woven basket held rectangular crackers that had interesting seeds, but the best cheese vehicle on the table was what I will call French bread crisps. These were ultra thin slices of toast so flavourful I could have munched on them alone! And probably should have, since the deli cooler amount of cheese I ingested cancelled my appetite for the rest of the meal. 

I managed to squeeze in a bowl of the velvety roasted cauliflower soup, but my grilled mushroom entree was mostly left uneaten. Still, I ate the chocolate-orange mousse that was placed in front of me. And then a slice of red velvet wedding cake and a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. Followed by a giant strawberry (the size of an apple!) covered in white chocolate. The gluttony.

All that food in my tummy made me sleepy, but also gave me plenty of endurance this morning. I felt strong until about 16k, when I started to anticipate a rest and a stretch at home. Then I remembered I had hidden my hat and outer tee shirt under a large bush and would have to collect them before heading back, so I looped around which added another few km to the trip. I didn't mind the extra mileage - I am always pleasantly surprised when I find my hidden items where I left them a few hours before. No one swiped them, and I gained the freedom of going hat- and tee-free! We all win! Ok, I win. 

Cake and bouquets

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

State of sleep

Yesterday was a kick ass day in terms of the minimum exercise allotment! I enjoyed a 40-minute morning run and followed that up with 20 squats and 10 burpees. Add in an hour of walking (to & from werk) and conclude with a 90-min bike ride on the paths, and that way exceeded my plans. Not bad for a Monday, hehe.

Unfortunately it didn't help me sleep any better, and I tossed and turned all night, waking hours before my alarm. At the moment I'm feeling kind of exhausted, but the minute I lie down and close my eyes the mood is gone, like a phantom scared away. I started to drift off while reading on the sofa, and hurriedly moved on to a bed to capture the spirit of sleep but nothing happened and after a few minutes I got up (with a loud sigh).

In this state, I might not get around to doing much today. That kind of sucks because I have the momentum of yesterday behind me, and I'm generally on a roll (to trim down my stomach roll!) so perhaps I'll try a routine of weights or body weight exercises later, although experience has taught me that exercise tends to shake me out of a state of sleepiness rather than lure me down into it. I suppose I could drink the lone bottle of beer in the fridge left over from our soiree of two months past, but I prefer to save it. (I don't really know why.) Maybe I'll take on the 6 rounds from last week and see what effect that has. Don't you just love experiments?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Dreaming success

Weird dreams! Finally my mind led me somewhere interesting last night, and I had dreams about exactly god knows what but they were urgent and colorful, and woke me up at least once. It was great to be released from the humdrumery of deadbeat dreams - waiting for elevators and the like - and free to run around in my head.

After polishing off another crunchy bag of salty snacks from D's care package (gracias!) I did this simple workout last night:

6 rounds of:
  • 10 squats with 5 lb weights
  • 10 sit ups with 5 lb weights
  • 10 push ups (modified)

Followed by 20 squats with 8 lb weights, and then 10 burpees. All to the soundtrack of the Ottwa-Montreal hockey game as I tried to coax some testosterone from the players into defecting and joining my bloodstream team. As far as I can tell, it was no go.

This morning I headed outside for a 40-minute run in the beautiful sunshine, then another set of 20 squats and 10 burpees in the living room, the cat acting as my spotter. The back of my shoulders have been stunned into a light soreness which will heat up into paralyzing grassfire before long. Burn on.

I sorely (haha) need to get my push up game on. I have always wanted to be able to do 10 full push ups in a row but never could get past 3 or 4, and currently that number is probably more like 1.

Hmmm, this is sounding disturbingly like a plan being broadcast and I'm not really comfortable with that. But there it is. I said it. 10 full push ups by the end of August! That gives me lots of time to meet this goal.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Whose lesson is this?

Last night I walked my flat-tired bike, Betsy - you might have heard about her - a few blocks to the gas station. It was a warm, beautiful evening.

The "compressed air machine" is much more effective than any of the tire pumps we own. I pumped up the first tire until it was fat and beautiful, and then as I started in on the second tire some young bozo appeared, hands in pockets, and looked at me anxiously: "Uh, do you know what you're doing?"

I had a moment in my mind right then, cracked into two distinct sections. First: WTF? get the hell out of here, of course I know what I'm doing, and by the way, did I ask you for help, no I didn't, so go. now.

Second: What do you mean? Is something broken? Amiss? What am I doing wrong?

My facial reaction probably exposed the latter partion of my thought process (goddamit) and encouraged, Bozo launches into an explaination of how to use the adapter I was currently using.

Even as I write the words, I feel the rage. Let's look at what's happening here.

I was putting air in my tire. I was in the middle of performing an action I have done many times before - a simple action. I didn't need help. I didn't even look like I needed help. I was confident. I was not floundering. In the least. I was not hurt. In fact, I was pretty much in my element.

But of course he knows more about this simple task than me - he's a man! And men know. And they always have to help the silly ladies with their stuff. Because. They're men. They know!

I got back to work filling my tire - rather expertly I must say - and when the tire felt right to me, I asked the driver of the truck parked beside me if he needed air, since the machine was already going. Driver said, no thanks.

Turning my attention back to the bike, I twisted the caps on to the valves and informed Bozo, who was still loitering about like a testy raccoon, that I know what I'm doing - look, my tires are full of air! - and I don't need him. Bozo walked away but threw me some parting words: I'm not an asshole, y'know. I used to be a bike courier.

My hero, the bike courier. Because of him, I will certainly unleash a fury of irritation on the next unenlightened bozo who tries to teach me about my bike. God help you, Unknown Bozo. You have no idea you're stumbling into the path of a hurricane. Wish I could help you!

Betsy and I rode off, and spent the next 90 minutes rediscovering spring, the path and each other. No raccoons required.